Sony Blu-ray Player Delayed, Again

It will likely only be a matter of a few weeks and its significance may be more symbolic than anything else, but it seems Sony's agonizing year-it-wishes-would-end just keeps getting worse. Dragged down by what will likely amount to more than a half billion dollars in costs associated with a massive laptop battery recall affecting several companies, Sony has now pushed back the release date of its Blu-ray Disc player to early December.

Apparently some last-minute concerns over the BDP-S1 standalone unit's software prompted the latest postponement of a launch date, which had been set for this week. Meanwhile, it appears the ramp up of the company's long-anticipated PlayStation 3 game console, which includes an internal Blu-ray drive, is still expected to launch in mid-November, thus beating its own standalone Blu-ray player to market.

Several online reports indicate this latest delay is particularly embarrassing for the Japanese firm, especially since Sony is chief advocate for the Blu-ray Disc format. Even if this newest Dec. 4 launch date for the standalone player is met, that will put Sony's unit on the market 11 days after the traditional start of the all-important holiday selling season in America, which this year kicks off on Friday, Nov. 24--the day after Thanksgiving.